After shooting 37.5 percent in the first half, the Sun Devils found their offensive rhythm, especially in the opening minutes of the second stanza, shooting 48.3 percent for the period. Abbott heated up again from beyond the arc and his long range jumper tied the game a 40-40 at the 12:05 mark.
The Bears' Alan Crabbe started to heat up himself beyond the arc and gave his team a 58-49 edge with 5:32 left in the contest. But once again Abbott and Kuksiks gave the maroon and gold some hope as their long range shooting, along with a dunk by Carrick Felix made it a 62-59 game with 1:27 left.
In their ensuing possession ASU had four consecutive three-point attempts trying to tie up the game, but misfired on all of them and saw the visitors make three of their last four free throws to capture their first league win of the season.
Abbott led ASU with 18 points, 14 of them coming in the second half, as well as six rebounds. Kuksiks was the only other Sun Devil player in double figures with 10 points. Ruslan Pateev was the unlikely assist leader with four. Gutierrez led all players with 21 points.
The Sun Devils were dominated on the boards to the tune of 43-27 and surrendered 18 offensive rebounds. They shot 64.3 percent from the line (9-14) and 28.6 percent from three-point territory (6-21).
Last season ASU started 0-2 in Pac-10 play and revamped their offense which resulted in a second place finish in the conference. Head coach Herb Sendek stated that a similar change this season would not be feasible.
"I don't think we have the same realm of possibility," Sendek explained. "We have an entirely different team than we had a year ago, so I don't see that as being necessarily the answer. I think we've got to get better at what we do, and I don't think it's a function of schematics."
ASU will try to avoid their second three-game losing streak of the season, as they play their last non-conference game of the season, hosting Tulsa Wednesday at 6:30 pm.